Disqualified presidential aspirant of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom has expressed his frustration over the Electoral Commission’s decision to disqualify him from the December polls.
According to him, the organisation of a political party and for that matter the running of a campaign ahead of elections is no child’s play.
Venting his frustration while on Joy FM Thursday morning, Dr Nduom quipped, “Do you know how expensive it is to put up offices in two-thirds of all districts in Ghana? It’s expensive. It’s very expensive especially when the people know that it’s a party coming. The rents go up. It’s expensive to go and put people all over these places and try and keep them open. It’s expensive to hire auditors to put things in order. It’s expensive to try to raise money from our people and not go to illegal sources to find money to run a political party and a campaign. And for a campaign, it’s expensive to run a campaign and for now with 10,000 filing fees, 50,000…”
Dr Nduom was disqualified on the grounds that he failed to provide the required number of subscribers for nomination.
Again, the EC said, one Richard Aseda who subscribed to Dr Nduom's nomination did double endorsement, first in the Central Region and then in the Volta Region.
Dr Nduom's party had earlier sued the EC for what it described as “unreasonable” filing fees and wanted the court to prohibit the electoral body from collecting the 'high' amount.
He consequently filed for an injunction on the nomination process, but the court on Friday, October 7, 2016 dismissed the injunction application and gave the EC the go ahead to collect the monies.
In his exasperation, Dr Nduom explained that the rationale for going to court was not because he or the party could not afford the GH¢50,000 and GH¢10,000 filling fees for the presidential and parliamentary aspirants respectively that was requested by the EC.
“Yes we took the Electoral Commission to court. It is not because I don’t have GH¢50,000 or the PPP can’t come up with GH¢1.7 million. It is because democracy cannot be bought. It should not be sold.”
“I will continue to campaign”
Despite being disqualified, Dr Nduom said that he would continue to campaign across the country and that he would not give up on his desire to be the change-agent that the country needs. Rather, he would fight tooth and nail to ensure that the EC operated within the remits of its own law.
“We will continue to fight. We will continue to fight to make sure that the Electoral Commission abides by its own law. I’m not stopping… And I’m telling my parliamentary aspirants starting this evening I’m campaigning and I’m going to be with them every step of the way. Whether I’m on the ballot or not, we have something wonderful to sell to the people of the Republic of Ghana and we will continue to do so,” Dr Nduom said.
“We are going to continue with enthusiasm to campaign to Ghanaians. We will continue to campaign with enthusiasm and let people understand that something bigger, bright ideas and a prosperous Ghana is coming through the Progressive People’s Party,” he added.
According to Dr Nduom, out of the many options available to him to resolve his disqualification, he decided to go to court because he believed in the rule of law.
He further noted that he has pursued peaceful means in furtherance of his personal principles and would not want to be named as the person responsible for bringing about any chaos, pointing out that he would be on the losing end should he be the reason for violence to erupt in the country.
“All my major investments are in Ghana. The house I have is in Ghana. Everything I have is in Ghana and so I don’t want trouble in Ghana. I don’t want to be the one whose name is cited that he caused a problem.
“There are many unemployed youth in Ghana with nothing to do. It just takes a few cedis here and there and you can cause confusion. Why would I want to cause confusion with the sorts of things that I’m doing all over the country. I want peace, I want stability, I want an atmosphere within which enterprise can thrive and Ghanaians can become prosperous,” he pointed out.
Dr Nduom further stated that he would respect the court’s decision be it in his favour or not.
“Should we go to court and court of law says that we’ve heard you but that the EC should go ahead and implement the decision they have made…that the EC’s decision stands, we will abide by it.”
That notwithstanding, he noted that “should anything happen, nobody should come and say Papa Kwesi Nduom. No, Papa Kwesi Nduom took everything in good faith and said there are laws, let’s comply.”